Ivory Coast will compete against Belgium, Thursday in Brussels, then in Japan, next Tuesday in Utrecht. Two friendly matches which will be the first led by the new Elephants coach, Patrice Beaumelle. Appointed last March just before the interruption of competitions, the French technician explains the choice of opponents for these preparatory meetings. “If we did not play Belgium we might not have been able to have all this contingent, justified the former assistant of Hervé Renard, quoted by Sport-Ivory. I would have had half the team to start an adventure like this a month before crucial games. I preferred (…) that we can confront ourselves with the best in the world. This gives us a starting point. We could have reassured ourselves by playing teams of lesser caliber but we get to the heart of the matter right away. “
Beaumelle: “I would have liked to play in Africa”
Before the double confrontation against Madagascar, next month in the CAN qualifiers, Patrice Beaumelle would nevertheless have liked to face an African opponent. “To be honest, I would have liked to play in Africa, against African teams, even outside to already show players that it is difficult to travel to Africa, he admitted, while doing against bad luck good heart. That being said, with this epidemic we had prepared the September games, which were canceled at the last moment. We were asked and we asked for African teams but when I saw that the pandemic was still present, I preferred to say yes as quickly as possible to great teams. Today, playing Japan and Belgium is an honor for us but indeed, if we look at our calendar, it would have been better to play against African teams. The meetings will be played without defender Simon Deli (Club Brugge) and striker Evrard Kouassi (Wuhan Zall), who forfeited.